You imagine him as a child getting on a stage of a small theater, eyes shining with happiness, in love with art and everything that arrives from there. Alessio Praticò, a talented actor in important projects such as “The Young Pope” by Paolo Sorrentino, “Il Miracolo” by Niccolò Ammaniti, and “Trust” by Oscar winner Danny Boyle. His eyes have arrived to this day in extraordinary experiences such as “Lo spietato” by Renato de Maria and “Il Traditore” by Marco Bellocchio, a film that is presented in competition at the last Cannes Film Festival.
by Anna Chiara Delle Donne
Welcome Alessio. At the last Cannes Film Festival the film “Il Traditore” by Marco Bellocchio was presented. Your role is Giuseppe’s, will you talk about it?
This is a choral film. It must be said that around the figure of Tommaso Buscetta, there are several characters running, including Giuseppe. Giuseppe is Totò Riina’s favorite killer. It is an emblematic figure of those years, of the various massacres and of the various revenge that took place. It is no coincidence that the film was released on May 23rd. Giovanni Falcone was to be honored. The film tells about the friendship between Buscetta and Falcone. With a film like that, we don’t want to forget what happened. Marco Bellocchio has investigated the betrayal, about wanting to punish a certain attitude of some characters that went against the tide. We tell of rules that are transgressed, of betrayal in that world. “Il Traditore” is a particular film that must be seen.
How did you experience your character?
Giuseppe is a person who executes orders. Once you are part of that world, you have to follow those lines of thought. The characters in this story have a sort of pride that drives them to be part of that mechanism. They are born and they grew up in that environment, they don’t see other possibilities of life. Their desire is to have wealth and power, yet these people are constantly in the balance, always in fear of being executed. They do not enjoy the things they get through their “work”.
What meaning do you give to betrayal in your life and in your work?
Betrayal is a lack of loyalty, of transparency. With betrayal you want to change unwritten rules, you don’t want to keep your word. I am a transparent and loyal person. It annoys me that a person suddenly turns out to be another thing. We try to lie to ourselves, trying to find rationales to not feel guilty. I could never lie. I can’t do something that doesn’t reflect my principles.
What was it like working with a director like Marco Bellocchio?
I like to listen and observe others. When I’m on a set, I feel like a sponge absorbing. Bellocchio is a master of Italian cinema. I believe he is a director who leaves a lot of space for the actors. It was an honor to be on the set with him, with extraordinary colleagues with whom a friendship bond was created. I’m glad I had this chance.
Another good project is “Lo Spietato” that has recently arrived on Netflix. What effect does it make you in a movie like that on such a platform?
For us it was a great opportunity. The film has an international scope and is visible in about 190 countries. We arrive everywhere and it is a beautiful showcase. With “Lo Spietato” we pay tribute to the detective story, but with an extremely new key. Our characters don’t take themselves seriously, the situations also turn out to be funny and humorous. We had the chance to work very well in a team effort. The creative part of each actor was carried out by the director and was truly rewarding.
You stated that it is important not to fall into clichés when interpreting a bad character…
Sure. One of the mistakes that an actor can make is to judge a character who plays himself. It doesn’t have to come out of what you think, but the character. If I play a bad character, he must come out the rotten thing in him. I avoid falling into clichés and stereotypes. We actors tell stories of men to other men. In the characters I play, I love to insert a human key because I think that human beings are fallible beings. It is not very interesting to tell figurines and not people.
When did the meeting with the acting take place?
When I was a child, I attended a kindergarten school that looked after the theater and art aspects. At the age of four I discovered dramatic art and I started doing the first shows at the theater. At that moment something was sparked in me that I still carry with me. During the school years I have been lucky enough to do shows. When I finished high school, I decided to continue my studies by enrolling in the Faculty of Architecture. Even though I studied, I attended theater classes. Once I got my degree I decided to throw myself into that love of youth. A journey that brought me here has started. For me it’s a fortune to act.
What are the points of yourself that you feel you have strengthened thanks to your job?
I have a greater awareness of what I can do and I can give. I developed empathy more, knowing how to listen to others in life and therefore also on stage. It is essential to be able to relate to others.
You have defined theater as your first love. Is it still like that for you?
It’s true, it all starts from there. Theater is my first love, something visceral. The idea of having an audience alive and present to tell stories, excites me. I don’t like those who create labels saying that there is a theatrical actor and there is a cinematographic actor. For me, there is the actor who does theater, cinema, television. Only the medium changes. There is a bad and a good acting. I thank that child that I was, who loved to go on stage. I’m an actor because I can express so many facets of myself and give them to the characters. Maybe I wouldn’t do it in life. I want to continue to do what I do, always keeping that light in my child’s eyes.
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